New Books on the Way!

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In an effort to live in denial about how far behind I am on sharing what I have read this year, I decided to share a few new books that are on the way! I am always on the look out for new reads for the many book devourers that live in my house. Lately I have had a challenging time finding picture books for my younger crew. But! I happened to stumble across a few that I think my kiddos will enjoy.


We have all enjoyed the first two books in Jon Klassen’s Hat Trilogy Series: I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat. The final book in this trilogy, We Found a Hat,  will be available on October 11th.

My library has it on order and I have already put in a request for it. While the books are marketed for the 4-8 year old range, you will likely find yourself smiling and enjoying a chuckle or two. A little humor, a bit of mischief, and some great characters make these excellent for the book basket.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…is always a favorite picture book read aloud in our house. I am fairly confident that my kiddos and I could recite this book.  I might have been a wee bit excited to see that Laura Numeroff has a new book to add to this series: If You Give a Mouse a Brownie.

This is to be released October 18th and yes, my library has it on order and I have it requested. I think we will definitely have to whip up a batch of brownies when we read this one!

And another favorite author is Sandra Boynton. Love having her board books in a basket for my youngest book lovers. I must confess that Barnyard Dance might be my favorite. There is a new board book to add to your collection!

Dinosaur Dance was released yesterday, August 30th. I might have to toss this one in my cart to purchase because my library doesn’t even have it on order!!  It will make a great stocking stuffer for someone in my house.

Are there any new books you are looking forward to sharing with your children? Or even new books for yourself? Please let me know. I am always eager to add to our book stash!


The Hole Story of the Doughnut

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In our home, a great amount of fiction is read and enjoyed. That doesn’t mean that we lack appreciation for a good non-fiction read now and then. About once a month or so, I go to my library’s online catalog and take a peek to see what new non-fiction picture books are heading our way.

Every once in a while I stumbled across a book like Earmuffs for Everyone!: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs that not only share a bit of history and a biography but are super fun to read as well. A couple of weeks ago, I made another such discovery that spoke to my family in a sweet way.

The Hole Story of the Doughnut (Pat Miller). Yes! A book about the inventor of the doughnut! We seriously love doughnuts in our home so everyone loved this read.

Hanson Crockett Gregory, in 1844, went to sea at the age of thirteen. His life at sea began as a cabin boy but he quickly worked his way to cook’s assistant. Gregory continued to work hard and became captain of a clipper (the fastest ship on the ocean at that time).  After rescuing Spanish sailors from the sea, Gregory was awarded a medal of honor from Queen Isabella II.  Clearly Hanson Crockett Gregory was a man of diligence and worthy character.

But, um, can we talk about the doughnuts? This is exactly how The Hole Story of the Doughnut begins; by telling us a bit about the man that Gregory was. Then finally we travel a bit back in time to June 22, 1847 when Hanson Gregory was sixteen.

Breakfast on board the ship was the usual fare of coffee and fried cakes. Balls of sweetened dough were dropped into a pot of hot lard. The smell was delicious. Perfection..until you hit the middle of the fried cake. The middle was left raw and greasy. This earned these fried cakes the name of “Sinkers”.  Yum?

Ah, but Hanson used a bit of creative thinking and solved the problem. A lid from a pepper can cut perfect holes in the middle of these fried cakes. And Sinkers were a thing of the past. Doughnuts were born!

What does young Hansen then do? Tells his mom all about his fried cake perfection and she sets up market in a friend’s store. So let’s all give a big Thank You!! to Hansen Crockett Gregory and his mom.

Is This Really True?

Here is another aspect that we enjoyed about The Hole Story of the Doughnut. Not only did author Pat Miller give us the story of the doughnut but went a little further. You know how sailors’ stories go, right? The fish is always bigger, you know. So a couple of tales were shared about how doughnuts were “really” created.

The story of the creation of the doughnut has been confirmed! In 1941 a man named Henry Ellis challenged the claim Gregory had on the doughnut. But a panel of people came together and agreed that Gregory had the right and proper claim to the doughnut. Ellis later admitted that it was a publicity stunt. Tsk, tsk, Mr. Ellis.

At the age of eighty-nine, Gregory passed away at a sailor’s home in Massachusetts (which I found that tidbit fascinating) and was buried near the sea.  In the 1950’s his headstone disappeared. However, in 1982 Dunkin’ Donuts president, Richard Hart, had a new headstone placed at Gregory’s grave.  If you live nearby in Massachusetts, grab a dozen doughnuts, head to Gregory’s graveside, and share our appreciation for his creativity in the sea-tossed kitchen.

We enjoyed this quick read on the doughnut. The author’s note contains the information about the publicity stunt and the headstone. So my younger ones enjoyed the story of the creation of the doughnut and the older ones and I got a bit of extra info which is always nice. Even the two year old likes this book. Ok, the page with the doughnut with sprinkles is his favorite, but can you blame him? Now it’s time to make the doughnuts.

Flying Cats, Rainy Days, and a Tribe of Kids

Flying cats? Rainy days? Tribe of Kids? Yes, this could totally be an afternoon at our house. No, I’m not kidding. However, as exciting as our days might be this is a peek into our stack of picture books that we have enjoyed lately. I have many books to share but thought I’d highlight a few favorites before they head back to the library.

Caramba – Marie-Louise Gay – As soon as I began reading this one, my children were asking if this was the same author/illustrator that wrote Stella and Sam. We might have a few Stella and Sam fans here. Caramba is just your typical furry, fluffy cat that looks fabulous in suspenders. Caramba just has one problem. He can’t do what all the other cats can do. Fly. Poor Caramba. He tries and tries to fly like all the other cats but from landing on his face in the grass to crashing into Grandpa’s lap, flying isn’t working out well for Caramba. Cousins step in to help Caramba learn to fly. Unfortunately the lesson doesn’t go quite as planned. It all ends with a huge splash.

Perhaps Caramba was written to celebrate differences and to encourage us to embrace our individuality. Or not? We just enjoyed a fun story about flying cats, trying hard when things are a bit difficult, and the value of a good friend. And, sadly, our cats here don’t fly either.

Puddle – Hyewon Yum – There is nothing like a rainy day to make us a little grumpy at times, right? Rain can make a day seem so dull and dreary. Then the boredom sets in  and nothing indoors will do. Until mom brings out a bit of paper and crayons. A mom and her young son end up having great fun taking turns drawing pictures of what they would do in the rain. After creating such a delightful picture, even including jumping in puddles, what else could they do but go out in the rain? A picture comes to life!

Such a simple, quick read but so enjoyable. An excellent read for a rainy day especially if you an go outside after reading. It would also work well to encourage a bit of art. Children could take turns drawing what they would do at the park, in the backyard, or in the snow. Then make their creations come to life!

There is a Tribe of Kids – Lane Smith – Every week or two, I go through the New Books listings on my library’s home page. Most of the time I have particular books I am looking for but sometimes I’m just browsing for a book or two that catches my eye. This is how I stumbled across There is a Tribe of Kids. For several years, we have called our family by the title of Tribe. How could I resist this title?!?  It turned out to be a favorite book that we have read and looked at over and over again.

Simple text presents various groupings of animals to a young boy: bed of clams, parade of elephants, formation of rocks, and of course a tribe of kids. The beauty of this book is not only in its simplicity of text but the lovely illustrations; charming and sometimes funny when you notice the details. This is perhaps what has drawn my children to this book again and again. My almost two year old loves to flip through the pages and it inspired my ten year old to create a few sketches of her own. She loved the style of the tribe of kids. A beautiful read that appeals to a variety of ages.  It shouldn’t have been surprising that this book has become a favorite. We are fans of Lane Smith’s Grandpa Green. A beautiful, sweet story that shares about aging and memories.

Drawn by Hannah – 10